August 12, 2020 – Halifax, Nova Scotia: The meetings and conventions industry accounts for nine per cent of Halifax’s tourism industry or roughly $115 million in economic spending from visitors. Like all other industries impacted by COVID-19 it will be a long road to recovery, and hotels and meeting venues are working diligently to safely host face-to-face meetings and get Halifax back-to-business.
“In a typical year, Halifax welcomes 5.3 million overnight stays who spend $1.3 billion locally. Business travellers attending meetings are an important part of this,” said Ross Jefferson, Discover Halifax’s president and CEO. “The fact that we are starting to see more meetings happen in-person is the first step in the recovery of this industry, and we believe an additional step towards restarting the return of workers to our downtowns and main streets.”
Under current physical distancing rules, leaders and companies who want to host in-person meetings may find their boardrooms are too small. Hotels and venues in Halifax reopened in June when restrictions were lifted and have the solution. As trusted event experts, they are meeting the needs of businesses by repurposing ballrooms and larger meeting spaces.
“Hotels are well-equipped to deal with COVID-compliance,” said the president of the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia, Megan Delaney. “We have always held a high standard for cleanliness and safety, including Serve Smart, WHMIS and JOHSC. We know how to make events safe and stress-free.”
Discover Halifax, the non-profit destination marketing organization for the region, recently launched a new campaign and website to help businesses and event organizers. Meet Again Halifax (meetagainhalifax.com)includes tips and advice on hosting safe events, as well as a list of trusted venues to help.
Currently, there are 19 hotels and venues listed on the Meet Again Halifax website. Each have developed a number of room lay-outs to help host a variety of in-person meetings – from Board to staff meetings. They can also assist with all the requirements for masks, signage, health screening, contract tracing in addition to taking care of the extra cleaning. Additionally, there are 27 suppliers to the meeting industry who can also assist in elevating and making your meeting go more smoothly. This allows leaders of associations, businesses and corporations to focus on what matters most right now – their own business recovery.
“Trust is built face-to-face, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that we’re stronger together. It’s time to take that literally,” said Jefferson.
- In a recent Harvard Review study, 95 per cent of respondents said they prefer in-person meetings.
- Over 55 per cent of all messages come from non-verbal cues like posture and gesture. Research indicates that people are 80 per cent more likely to hold onto the information that they learn if it’s shared with them using verbal and visual elements.
- Over 19 hotels and venues in Halifax have invested in their facilities to protect people and follow public health advice on physical distancing, signage, cleaning, contract tracing and screening.
- Find testimonials, venues and resources at meetagainhalifax.com
- Media can access rights-free photos and images of safely-conducted, in-person meetings at meetagainhalifax.com/toolkit
Discover Halifax is non-profit, membership-based marketing and sales organization in partnership with the Halifax regional government, the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia and participating industry members. Since its inception in 2002, Discover Halifax’s goal is to promote Halifax as a destination of choice for leisure and business travellers.
Halifax welcomes 5.3 million overnight stays each year, who spend over $1 billion. Halifax alone represents over 54% of all visitation to Nova Scotia, and 34,000 people are employed in the tourism industry.
About the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia (HANS)
HANS was initially formed in 1993. Our membership is made up of some of the finest hotels in Nova Scotia as well as key industry partners. Since its inception, HANS has actively challenged our members to excel in the hospitality marketplace while assisting them to build and maintain a high profile within all sectors of the Hospitality Industry.
Communications Director, Discover Halifax